Starting a vegetable garden at school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-21-2009, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, all! We're looking to start a elementary school veggie garden in the spring (zone 5). Anyone have any good resources to share? I'm trying to get a checklist together of things that need to happen before we can start.
  1. Principal approves plan
  2. Site location
  3. Water availability -- where is the faucet?
  4. List of what to plant

Anyone BTDT?

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#2 of 7 Old 09-21-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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My kids school follows this program

http://www.littlegreenthumbs.org/
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#3 of 7 Old 09-22-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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There is also Alice Water's http://www.edibleschoolyard.org

I have been seriously giving this some thought myself.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay

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#4 of 7 Old 09-22-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, those are great. Thanks! I figure, why reinvent the wheel, right?!

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#5 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Love those links!

I started an edible garden at my highschool - it was the best experience and a great success! At first I had other teachers joking about how I 'let the kids run around the garden all day' but by the time I left the school there were several classes utilising the space and it was happily taken control of by the Students At Educational Risk and Learning Center (disabled) classes.

Some tips I have:
- An automatic timer for the sprinkler system (very cheap from hardware stores) will save you water and save your veges over school holidays and the weekend.
- I used several raised beds and students each got a small plot to design, look after and then harvest- Personal ownership got every student involved. Around this we had garden which had fruit trees, vines etc. Everyone shared the harvest and they got so excited when 'their' plants started growing
- I strongly recommend starting a worm farm
They are more appealing than compost piles. We have a guy who brings the worms to our school each year in a demonstration, students learn about decomposition and start mini-farms in coke bottles. He also set up a large worm farm for our garden and students love 'feeding and playing with the worms', it was harder to get them to turn compost, lol

Most of all, have fun and just do it!
The hardest part is starting - getting 'approval' to use that wasted, rubbish filled, derelict piece of land at the side of the arts building, ensuring student safety, buying the plants, setting up the reticulation etc etc doing all the un-fun stuff. But once it's going you'll never look back.

Good luck!

Mel - Loving mama and wife to the A team
From little things, big things grow
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#6 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool! Thanks. Could you tell me what reticulation is?

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#7 of 7 Old 10-01-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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I helped with our (new) middle school garden this year. In our case, the teacher who organized the project also started a gardening club for students, and put the word out in the village newspaper that she was looking for volunteers to help. I don't have kids that age yet, so was a community volunteer. Removing grass, building raised beds and moving the topsoil/compost in was a ton of work - she planned 2 3-hour workdays (and had maybe 10 adult volunteers and a bunch of kids each day), and we were not able to get everything done. I think there was one additional workday added to finish up.

To maintain the beds over the summer, families (and other volunteers) were asked to sign up for a week. When it was your week, you were responsible for all of the watering and weeding.

The garden is still producing, from what I hear. I don't think there were firm plans for what to do with the produce in the beginning (other than a planned garden party hosted by the garden club), but they've sense made arrangements with the school kitchen to use a bit of the produce, and have donated the rest to the local food pantry.
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